PICTON PLAY brings together artists, community organisers, young people and other curious residents to celebrate the existing creativity in our neighbourhood and explore new ways of getting together through play.
On the outskirts of Liverpool city centre, Picton is a diverse neighbourhood made up of students, people who are new to the city, and families with strong generational ties to the area. Edge Hill Station, Metal Liverpool’s base for 14 years, is an important landmark in the neighbourhood.
Designed over three phases, the project explores the importance of play – even more so in difficult times – and the unique culture and creativity in Picton.
PICTON PLAY’s first phase LISTENING involves hosting artists in unexpected places – from the 86 bus to a supermarket carpark – in the neighbourhood with residencies, meals, pop-up events and commissions. The ‘listening’ residencies will invite artists to exchange knowledge with residents about the local area and its creative people, initiatives and places to go whilst making new connections around the themes of play, sharing, joy and celebration.
The next phase will involve GATHERING and what we’ve uncovered during the LISTENING phase. We will develop creative ideas and projects that focus on bringing people together to build skills, confidence and encourage creativity. These happenings will populate local spaces, creating partnerships and inviting people to look at the streets, buildings and public spaces they see everyday differently.
The final phase will involve CELEBRATING at a large-scale gathering for the local community. The event or project will be shaped by the people and the knowledge gained in earlier stages of PICTON PLAY so we don’t know what this celebration will be. We do know it will be an extraordinary moment of creativity in our neighbourhood.
We want to work with as many local people as we can. Each phase of the project will involve a process of collective decision making with our neighbours and local groups. We’ll be sharing our work at conversation events and dinners, as well as through our social media and digital channels. The project will involve a group of informal advisors who will create a legacy for the area. If you live or work in the local area and want to learn more email firstname.lastname@example.org
Listening Residency | Andrea Ku | Botanic Garden
Over 3 months in early 2024, artist and environmentalist Andrea Ku will be in residence at the Botanic Park, a grade II listed Victorian park founded by Liverpool botanist and abolitionist William Roscoe. The residency is presented in partnership with Friends of Botanic Park.
Listening Residency | Nikki McCubbing | 86 Bus
Artist Nicki McCubbing will be in residence on the Smithdown road stretch of the Arriva 86 bus route for 3 months in early 2024. The residency will gather inspiration from travelling on the bus route, talking to people on the bus, and collecting observations and stories. It is presented in partnership with Arriva.
Liverpool Hip Hop Festival Residency
In winter 2023/24, Nikki Blaze and Tony Broke, founders of the Liverpool Hip Hop Festival will plan a series of creative workshops for young people to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.
Neighbourhood Tapestry | Victoria Opomu & schoolchildren from Edge Hill, Wavertree and Toxteth | Tate Liverpool
In summer 2023, artist Victoria Opomu worked with students to explore their experiences of growing up in Edge Hill, Wavertree and Toxteth through a residency at Smithdown Primary and a pop-up printing space at Lovin’ Lodge Lane. She shared some of her findings in an exhibition curated by the young people at Tate Liverpool. The exhibition included stories contained in objects that hold significance to the students and their families, a self-portrait wall and large-scale printed landscapes of neighbourhood locations. Learn more here.
Listening Residency | Josh Coates | ‘Big’ Asda carpark
In autumn 2023, artist and organiser Josh Coates created a pop-up community space in Smithdown Asda car park examining the nature of community spaces. Over three weeks he uncovered memories of the community and spaces of significance, as well as exchanging knowledge about existing groups and locations.
This is part of Culture Liverpool’s Creative Neighbourhoods programme with Liverpool City Council. Thank you to Asda, Friends at Botanic Park and Arriva for partnerships that supported our Listening Residencies.